T Nation

Body Fat Tests


#1

My gym was offering free body composition tests today by using the electronic scale. The scale said I have a 20% BF, which surprised me. I'm a pretty muscular 25 year old, 5' 6'', 165lbs with a 31 inch waist. There really anywhere for fat to hide on me.

I was curious to see what everyone thought about this method of testing for BF. She asked me if I consider myself an athlete (I said no)...is there a different setting for "athletes" that would that have given me a different reading?


#2

the tanita electronic scales that they use can be way off. You should have done it in the athlete mode for a 'truer' idea of bodyfat, but even then it can be as much as 3-5% out. With a 31" waist you should be in the 10-12% zone if what you have described in your post is correct.
Dexa/bodypod are the most accurate measure of testing bodyfat but they are expensive.


#3

No wonder it was free. The bio-impedance scales are fine for determining relative progress (if you use it at the same time under the same conditions every day). They are completely worthless for absolute measurements though.


#4

Thanks, guys. Now I don't feel so dejected. I've never had a bf test done before, so I really had nothing to benchmark this.